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Description of key information

The acute oral toxicity study does not need to be conducted as a 4-week repeated dose oral toxicity study is available.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Acute toxicity: via oral route

Link to relevant study records
Reference
Endpoint:
acute toxicity: oral
Data waiving:
study scientifically not necessary / other information available
Justification for data waiving:
other:
Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Acute toxicity: via inhalation route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Acute toxicity: via dermal route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Additional information

In general, enzymes are of very low toxicity due to ready biodegradability and very low bioavailability. In traditional acute toxicity testing, mortality has been the endpoint. However, because enzymes show very low toxicity, extremely high doses that are far above human exposure levels typically have been applied. Therefore, acute toxicity studies are not considered to provide appropriate knowledge and are as such not a relevant test system for enzymes. Systemic exposure by the dermal route is unlikely based on the existing toxicokinetic knowledge of enzymes, which due to their relatively large molecular weight, are not expected to be absorbed through the skin (Basketter et al. 2008, Smith Pease et al. 2002). Therefore, it can be safely assumed that technical enzymes do not exert any acute dermal toxicity (Basketter et al 2012). This conclusion is confirmed by the toxicological data available. Sub-acute dermal toxicity studies with protease in rabbits (Novozymes, unpublished data) did not provide evidence for systemic effect to enzymes. This finding is confirmed by data from acute dermal toxicity studies (Novozymes, unpublished data) of other enzyme products in both rats and rabbits. None of these studies revealed any acute toxic effect through the dermal administration route. No clinical signs or adverse effects due to systemic exposure could be observed. Data waivers will further be established through exposure scenarios, i.e. no significant dermal exposure to consumers and professionals due to the toxicologically insignificant enzyme concentrations in end products and in the case of workers due to occupational hygiene measures associated with the prevention of respiratory allergy which includes protective clothing. In conclusion, toxicokinetic data together with evidence from animal studies and historical human experience derived from the use of detergent enzymes for decades confirm that exposure to technical enzymes will not result in any toxicologically relevant uptake by dermal route. Acute systemic exposure to a toxicologically significant amount of enzymes by this route can, therefore, be excluded and will further be prohibited by the obligatory setting of a DMEL value for enzymes, resulting in negligible exposure to enzymes (Basketter et al 2010). In vivo acute dermal toxicity studies will not add any value and cannot be expected to provide valuable knowledge and are considered scientifically and ethically unjustified. Therefore, in accordance with column 2 of REACH Annex VIII acute toxicity testing by the dermal route is inappropriate.  

References:

- Basketter DA, English JS, Wakelin SH, White IR (2008). Enzymes, detergents and skin: facts and fantasies. Br. J. Dermatol., 158 (6):1177-1181.

- Smith Pease CK, White IR, Basketter DA (2002). Skin as a route of exposure to protein allergens. Clin. Exp. Dermatol., 27(4):296-300.  

- Basketter D, Berg N, Broekhuizen C, Fieldsend M, Kirkwood S, Kluin C, Mathieu S, Rodriguez C (2012a). Enzymes in Cleaning Products: An Overview of Toxicological Properties and Risk Assessment/Management. Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol., 64(1):117-123.

- Basketter DA, Broekhuizen C, Fieldsend M, Kirkwood S, Mascarenhas R, Maurer K, Pedersen C, Rodriguez C, Schiff HE (2010). Defining occupational and consumer exposure limits for enzyme protein respiratory allergens under REACH. Toxicology, 268(3):165-170.

Justification for classification or non-classification